Pushing the Envelope

Taking some usually restricted topics and mixing them into her stand up performance has made for a unique way to share her life experiences.

Sam Rager

Sam Rager utilizes her own stand up comedy shows, as a way to express herself and get some different things off her chest – all while getting some laughs.

Rager, a Michigan based comedian has been touring North America and doing her own style of comedy for the last seven years in different venues.

While in high school, Rager took note that she was able to make people laugh, but never transitioned this gift to the next level. A few years later, while attending college, Rager was going through a difficult period in her life and during her last semester, decided it was time to do something special for herself incorporating comedy.

“My last year in college was a particularly rough time for me,” Rager said. “I made the decision that I wanted to treat myself and take a class at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle and I learned during the class that there was a huge underground community right in the Michigan area.”

Rager said she was taught by comedian Bill Bushart and found him to be a great mentor for herself, along with her other classmates.

“He (Bill) encouraged us to find our own voices,” Rager said. “Just being able to have that kind of creative freedom was a big help to me.”

Overall, Rager is a big believer in speaking your own truth. During her stage show, she will share her own life experiences of mental health issues, along with dealing with death into her stand up routine.

“My own truth is my struggle with mental health and the kind of dark side that can come with it,” Rager said. “I will talk about some of the specific issues that are normally very uncomfortable and awkward to talk with people. I find that when I normally broach the subject people will pull back, but by the time I get to the end of the joke, people are usually on board.”

Rager continued, “the topics I will touch on are normally taboo in some comedy rooms but I’m able to touch on them, doing it all with a smile on my face.”

For Rager, losing her mother has played a part in how she views the world. Her mother passed away, when Sam was only 18-years-old, after battling a terminal illness.

One of the everlasting lessons Rager learned during the comedy class she took was when Bushart pointed out, that you know you are funny when you can take the worst thing that has ever happened to you and make people laugh at it

Rager described it as a pretty big moment for her when she could take her mom’s death and make a tasteful joke from it. She feels her mom would have approved of it and at the same time, has been able to get audiences on board with it as well.

“I believe behind closed doors people have a dark sense of humour, whether it is losing a family member or having their own dark thoughts ,that if another friend or family member knew they felt this way that they were weird,” Rager said.

Last year, when Rager was approaching her 30th birthday she decided to take her full comedy show and put it into an album called “Trigger Warning” The name was a reference to the tracks pertaining to mental health and the potential for it possibly being triggering for some people.

Rager is aiming to get back out on the comedy circuit on a more consistent basis, as currently due to her obligations with her full time job, it has limited her stand up comedy schedule recently.

With her stop in Windsor, ON this weekend at Haddon’s Comedy Club, Rager is looking forward to taking the stage as a co-headliner with Pat Sievert to share her brand of humour.

“I have really enjoyed every show that I have done in Windsor and I can’t wait to return. I believe the comedy scene in Windsor is great and it keeps growing.”

Be sure to come out and see Sam Rager this weekend at Haddon’s Comedy Club as she co-headlines with Pat Sievert, with shows on Friday, June 29 at 9 p.m. and Saturday June 30 at 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 cash at the door and can purchased ahead of time at www.eventbrite.com/e/haddons-comedy-club-presents-sam-rager-and-pat-sievert-tickets-62453200203